US shoppers boosting retail sales before Christmas

US shoppers spent 2.4% more during the weekend before the Christmas holiday this year, giving a boost to retailers in the final days of 2014.

Purchases during the so-called Super Saturday weekend rose to $42 billion, up from $41 billion during the same weekend a year ago, says Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a research firm in New Canaan, Connecticut. “This was a strong finish to an otherwise lacklustre season. It has taken what has been a sluggish season and made it merely lacklustre.”

According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales in November and December would gain 4.1%, the biggest increase since 2011. Lower unemployment, falling gas prices and rising consumer sentiment helped spur spending last month.

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